Storm Area 51 Taken Down by Facebook: Deleted Event Sparks Even More Excitement About UFOs and Conspiracies

Facebook took down the joke Facebook event "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," for apparently violating community standards.

The page was set up by Facebook user Matty Roberts as a tongue-in-cheek attempt to set up a raid on the secretive military base in Nevada—and it quickly took the internet by storm, with more than 2 million people saying they were going to attend.

Despite its comic nature, the group grew to such a size that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) felt compelled to issue an ominous warning to anyone who was actually thinking of going ahead with the plan on the stated date of September 20.

"[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces. The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets," USAF spokeswoman Laura McAndrews told The Washington Post last month.

But on August 3, Roberts posted a screenshot to his Facebook profile showing a message from the social media giant informing him that the event had been taken down.

It is not clear exactly why Facebook decided to close the page but the message read: "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us has been taken down by Facebook because content posted to this event went against our Community Standards. Repeated Community Standards violations can lead to your Page getting unpublished. If you think we've got it wrong the event creator can request a review."

Roberts said he was still in the dark as to why the event was removed and says the social network also took down another page which he was using to try and organize a genuine festival on the same day somewhere away from Area 51.

"I never got any reason behind the event being removed," he told CNET. "I think it's pretty reckless of Facebook, especially because I'm trying to direct people away from storming the base. And now I've lost my entire audience."

"With the removal of the original event it said that I could contest the takedown, but in reality, there was no option for me to do that," Roberts told Newsweek. "I created a sister event which amassed around 15,000 RSVP's before getting deleted 24 hours [later.] I then created a third event, completely unrelated to 'storming'—as it's entirely focused on the arts and education festival—which was also deleted in under three hours. The final two takedowns had no reason given for their deletion—no notification that they'd been deleted—they just disappeared. It spooked me out. We need to be able to let the public know what to do on September 20th."

However, after a couple of days being offline, the original event now appears to be back online.

"We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets," the event description reads, referring to a Japanese Manga character. "Let's see them aliens."

Facebook's move to take down the page has sparked some humorous and wild conspiracy theories online.

"THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO SILENCE YOU. DON'T LET THEM," one user, Sydney Jensen, wrote on Roberts' wall.

"Mark Zuckerberg is one of the alien experiments from area 51," another user, Ramie Schramm, wrote.

This article was updated to include additional comments from Matty Roberts.

Area 51
The back gate is seen at the top-secret military installation at the Nevada Test and Training Range known as Area 51 on July 22, 2019 near Rachel, Nevada. David Becker/Getty Images
Storm Area 51 Taken Down by Facebook: Deleted Event Sparks Even More Excitement About UFOs and Conspiracies | U.S.
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